Atlantic City Council to adopt Private Well Ordinance, Wednesday


September 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday evening, is expected to adopt on the second- and third-reading, a revised Ordinance pertaining to Private Wells. The first reading of the revised ordinance was approved during the Council’s meeting on Sept. 5th, and is less restrictive than the original draft. The new ordinance, if adopted during the Council’s 5:30-p.m. session, Wednesday, says “No person shall install a private drinking or non-drinking water well…within city limits, unless a determination has been made by the City Administrator that: It is a closed-loop system” or that the well is located greater than 1,000-feet from where an area of contamination (requiring corrective action under Iowa law), has been determined to exist.

The Ordinance says “In addition, drinking water wells outside the 1,000-foot restricted area shall not be installed, if the building to be served is within 250-feet from an accessible water distribution main owned and controlled by the City.”  The Iowa DNR has identified the City’s old street garage site at 211 Commerce, and sites at 1408 East 7th, and 100 West 2nd Street, as contaminated sites, under Iowa law.

City Administrator Doug Harris says the DNR has recommended the Council adopt the ordinance because they feel the action would more effectively protect public health and at a lower cost, than either removing the contaminated dirt (at an estimated cost of $150,000), or monitoring those sites over the next 30- to 50-years until the contamination has dissipated (at an estimated cost of $10,000 per year).